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What to Say Answering a Question about Weaknesses at a Job Interview

What to Say Answering a Question about Weaknesses at a Job Interview

Having weaknesses is natural. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to perceive our strengths. Becoming aware of our soft spots is the first step we must take in order to develop ourselves for the better.

Nowadays veterans have a hard time managing their weaknesses gained from war. Most of them developed PTSD as a result of the terror they experienced during the war. Recovering from PTSD is harder than you would think.

Even if you are a veteran, you should think about your flaws as your undiscovered strengths. If you would really want to make a significant change in your life you should start by working on your deepest weakness in such a way that you make it your core strength. As ShūsakuEndō said: “Every weakness contains within itself a strength.” 

Weaknesses Are Hidden Strengths

Weaknesses are, for most of the time, hidden strengths. So, be sure to analyze each of your weak spots in order to see what lies under them. When you are at an interview and you are asked “What is your greatest weakness?” don’t try to act like you don’t have one.

The main point is to be honest in admitting your disadvantages, even if you might be ashamed of them. It doesn’t matter. Honesty is one of the greatest strengths a human can own. So, whatever your weaknesses are, being honest about them will only bring you benefits. Here are a few ways in which recognizing your weaknesses may be helpful:

  • Becoming aware of your weaknesses is a sign of mental maturity.
  • Knowing what your weaknesses and strengths are will keep you humble.
  • Recognizing your own flaws will help you relate better to others who are experiencing the same or different weaknesses.
  • Understanding that each of us has weaknesses will make us more united.
  • Each weakness is an opportunity to develop our physical and mental growth.

Overcoming Your Weakness

Here is an exercise that should help you identify and overcome most of your weaknesses. First off, you should start by writing down all your strengths; this can be done in a timeframe of less than two weeks. While you go on with your life, keep an eye on the tasks you do competently and ask yourself which strengths of yours are helping out the most.

Another good idea is to ask your friends and family what other strengths they see in you. After completing the list, you could start writing down your strengths. An option to overcome a weakness is finding a new way in which you could approach it by making use of one of your inner strengths. For example, let’s say your weakness is that you have poor physical strength.

Your task is to get water from the fountain each day for your family. The problem is that you can’t carry it. What should you do? One of your core strengths is innovation. By leveraging your innovation, you can create a water pipe that will transport your water from the fountain to your home every day.

You won’t need to make any effort from now on. A weakness can be a motivation factor as well. Being physically weak will motivate you to become mentally strong. If support is what you need during your recovery, don’t hesitate to join a veteran support group.  

Never Let a Weakness Affect Your Goals

Your weaknesses are the challenges you must override in order to grow. The process of overcoming a weakness is one of the most powerful tools that contribute to greater personal development. Therefore, keep in mind that every frailty that you experience is just another chance for you to transform it into a strength.

When answering the question “What is your greatest weakness?” during an interview, you should pay attention to these 3 common mistakes:

  • Trying to Turn a Positive Trait Into a Negative One

 For example, perfectionism might turn out to be a productive and efficient trait for a future employee. Transforming it in a negative trait will sound like this: “I am too much of a perfectionist”. It’s a good trick to play in order to dodge the real answer, but be careful when using it as your employer might see right through it.  

  • Not Answering the Employer’s Question

 Some people will say that they can’t think about any weaknesses. Not answering this question will only make you look like you are hiding something or that you haven’t taken the time to prepare for the interview. Even though you may not be prepared, identifying one of your weak spots isn’t rocket science.  Just think about your last mistake and you will immediately remember something you’re not that good at.

  • Disclosing a Weakness That Might Put You in a Bad Spot

One of the worst mistakes a candidate can make is confessing to a weakness that will obstruct his ability to excel in the role. For example, telling the employer that your biggest flaw is related to your ability to be punctual when it comes to working hours, well…this might not be such a good idea.

Your disadvantage will then be that you are too honest. So, before opening your mouth and disclosing one of your weak spots, think about the consequences.


The whole point of this article is to help you understand that your weaknesses aren’t necessarily something to hide away from. Your flaws and your strengths are the ones that make you unique. From now on, try thinking about your flaws as motivating factors, and leverage them to improve your mental and physical qualities.

For more information on how to source veteran candidates and advertise jobs for veterans, please click here

About the Author: Olivia Ryan is an incurable optimist who always sees the glass as half-full. She likes nature, knows how to enjoy silence, and is keen on writing for different websites. Meet her on Facebook and Twitter.